Western Cape entrepreneurs invited to pitch for investment at funding fair

The second annual Western Cape Funding Fair will take place in Cape Town in May of next year, with the province’s entrepreneurs invited to pitch for multi-million rand investment.

The first Western Cape Funding Fair – a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and advisory firm Deloitte – took place in March of last year, and received over 600 applicants for funding.

Applications are now open for the second event until February 29 next year, with the fair open to any business seeking funding above ZAR2 million (US$140,000). In order to pitch, entrepreneurs will have to present detailed proposals to investors during a series of closed sessions.

“Since the start of this year an average of 300 new businesses have been registered each month in the Western Cape. It is vital that these businesses are supported in order to be successful contributors to the province’s economy,” said Western Cape minister of economic opportunities Alan Winde.

“The Funding Fair is a unique public and private partnership that aims to unlock the economic potential of our province. Its purpose is to kick-start business initiatives across the Western Cape, providing impetus for job creation in urban and rural areas and ultimately contributing to the growth of the economy. This is a great opportunity for our entrepreneurs to step into our own version of the Dragons’ Den and convince investors and funders to make big investments in their business.”

Deloitte Western Cape leader Marius Alberts said his company had seen that growing and established businesses have different funding needs, so this year the event has an additional funding category of ZAR20 million (US$1.4 million) plus.

“By putting the right fund-seeking businesses in front of the right funders, we hope to pave the way for sustainable business growth in the province,” said Alberts.

Craig Whyte, founder of ArtLab, a digital printing company, successfully secured funding at the first Funding Fair this year. He advised this year’s applicants to conduct proper due diligence on their businesses before pitching.

“The deal is in the detail. Always do your due diligence to ensure that you are prepared for the pitch, as you don’t want one small detail to jeopardise the potential of your business securing funding,” said Whyte.
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British Airways, Safaricom Launch Emerging Enterprise Initiative For Kenyan SMEs

British Airways, the UK’s largest international airline and Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in Kenya have announced the Emerging Enterprise Initiative aimed at providing international exposure for business owners in Kenya’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector.

Through the initiative, five business owners in the SME sector will be provided with access to international markets or a chance to source their supplies from source markets at the most affordable and competitive rates.

To receive the aforementioned benefits, SMEs will be required to submit a business proposal complete with details of how their businesses will benefit from a trip to any of the 114 destinations around the world where British Airways plies.

The applications will be judged and the best five will be selected, providing them with the opportunity of fulfilling their aspirations of traveling to the business destination of their choice.

“The small business is the driver of the Kenyan economy; this initiative will empower our SMEs to get to the next level by affording them much needed exposure and ability to communicate through affordable voice and data services,” Safaricom’s Director of Enterprise Business, Rita Okuthe said in a press release.

She added, “Technology has made the world a small global market and it is necessary for service providers to form strategic partnership to ensure customers transact business in the most timely and cost effective way.”
In addition to the traveling, each of the five selected SMEs will get Kshs.100,000 worth of airtime from Safaricom to help meet their communication needs.”

To be eligible for the travel prize and the airtime, SMEs must have signed up British Airways On Business programme and be registered customers of Safaricom’s Zidisha Biashara service.

Interested SMEs should submit their business proposal on or before January 16, 2016.

British Airways, founded in 1974 and based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport, serves over 114 destinations including 10 African countries – Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, Angola, and Egypt.